Imagine what our world would look like if we were still using Nokia 7210 handsets. If Jony Ive had just not bothered creating the iPhone. You probably wouldn’t be drinking Halo coffee pods or pulling your AWAY suitcase to the Citizen M Hotel you paid for with Monzo.
Tech, coffee, luggage, leisure, banking – these are just a few sectors previously shrouded in trad, unadventurous design that have been reinvigorated by brands and services seeking to up their design credentials and meet the demands of the style-conscious, design-savvy, iPhone-brandishing consumer of today.
Here are three more sectors using design to push things forward…
Millennials may have waited longer than previous generations to start families, but now they’re exploring parenthood and their penchant for highly visual, lifestyle-led brands doesn’t disappear along with their social life. In fact, quite the opposite. They’re looking for the same design appreciation when it comes to their babies.
Neobio Family Park has two sites, one in Shanghai and another in Hangzhou. Their immersive parent and child playgrounds, complete with polka-dot slide, ball pits and giant pastel parasols, are just as attractive to the parents as they are to the children.
The ‘dream city’ occupies the atrium of a shopping centre – the miniature community itself has children-sized shops, dressing up zones and even a dentist surgery.
Although people increasingly favour the convenience of online shopping, the internet is no substitute for social destinations like restaurants, cinemas and locales for family activities. Experiential places integrated with retail are a win-win solution.
Israel’s Bayit Balev is a chain of private, upscale retirement complexes that are upending traditional notions of elderly living. Through design, the space reflects the burgeoning ‘flat age’ mindset of people over 65, who are increasingly active, healthy and looking for brands that refuse to typecast people by age bracket.
They challenge traditional codes of design – nothing about these spaces looks ‘elderly’. They’re contemporary yet at the same time warm and indulging.
Funeral services reborn
The business of death is undergoing a renaissance – traditional, impersonal services are no longer cutting it. People are looking for brands to help change the narrative on death. In fact, dying is becoming part of the holistic wellness conversation as people open up discussions with their loved ones in order to feel better prepared in life, and indeed, for their own end of life.
From the growth of grief platforms and green burials, a brighter, more positive funeral market is emerging. One brand looking to break taboos surrounding death is Exit Here, a next-generation funeral parlour that uses contemporary design to put staid and stuffy funeral services to rest.
Less funeral parlour, more Warby Parker. Their West London space offers contemporary design at every step.
With the aim of shattering outmoded attitudes to death, Exit Here wants to refocus the funeral industry around the importance of celebrating life and choosing how you would like to be remembered. As we move into a new decade – and with humans living longer than ever – people are beginning to think differently about life and embracing mortality.
SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge? Get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org